EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 14, 2013

Column: Clinton a veteran at putting out fires with a document dump

Hillary Clinton should take these two words to heart: “document dump.”

This is a tested Washington tactic that could save her a lot of political aggravation, and, in fact, has in the past.

Clinton is the clear frontrunner for the Democratic 2016 presidential nomination with her support running around 60-plus percent in most polls. There is no Republican frontrunner, unless you count Marco Rubio’s pallid support of 18 percent or so.

Forward-looking GOP strategists badly want to diminish the stature of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State. Lacking any kind of serious line of attack, congressional Republicans have settled on a strategy of death by a thousand cuts, doling out seemingly damning details of her role in the death of the U.S. ambassador and three others at a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya.

It was clearly a gross failure of security, compounded by the White House misrepresentation of it as a mob action instead of a deliberate terrorist attack.

Former ambassador Thomas Pickering and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen studied the Benghazi failure, made 29 recommendations that we’re told the department is carrying out and, insofar as these incidents can be prevented, these recommendations should do it. Even though the attack occurred last Sept. 11, the GOP-run House oversight committee held a six-hour hearing last week during which we were alerted to the likelihood of scandalous revelations, most of the involving, even if only peripherally, Hillary Clinton.

Instead, we heard a sad tale of dedicated embassy staff, cut off from military help whose numbers were too few in any case.

Likely GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul didn’t bother to wait for all the evidence to come out. He had heard enough to suggest “that at the very least, Mrs. Clinton should never hold high office again.”

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